FreeSpace 2, the follow up to the classic Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War is ready to engage you in the second round. Follow the Grand Terran Vasudan Alliance further into the mysteries of the Shivans. Get your flight stick and hit the flight deck. The last time was just a warm up.
User reviews: Mixed (134 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Breathtaking action, atmosphere, story, and graphics come together to create a truly compelling combat experience."
Read the full review here.

Addressing install issues

Some users report an error when trying to launch the game.

We are working on a fix, but you may be able to resolve the issue right now by following these steps:


1. Open the folder where Freespace 2 is installed (usually "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Freespace 2\data")

2. Open the "Registry" folder. If there is no Registry folder open the "Data" folder

3. Double-click the file "FS2.reg"

4. Click the "Yes" button to make a system change

5. Click the "Yes" button to confirm

6. Click the "OK" button when Reg Edit says it's done

7. Launch Freespace 2 from your Steam library

Depending on your system settings, you may need to temporarily lower your UAC (User Access Control) settings or disable your anti-virus to make the change. Then re-enable UAC and/or your anti-virus software. We apologize for any inconvenience.

About This Game

The year is 2367, thirty two years after the Great War. Or at least that is what YOU thought was the Great War. The endless line of Shivan capital ships, bombers and fighters with super advanced technology was nearly overwhelming.

As the Terran and Vasudan races finish rebuilding their decimated societies, a disturbance lurks in the not-so-far reaches of the Gamma Draconis system.

Your nemeses have arrived... and they are wondering what happened to their scouting party.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 254 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 7 Compatible Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 7.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 2490 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Blaster Compatible
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1.4 Ghz or better
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 Compatible Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 2490 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Blaster Compatible
Helpful customer reviews
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Still the best singleplayer space combat sim out there. The first had a tighter plot but this one has capital ship beam cannons, so it wins. If you've played Mass Effect you'll also find a lot of suspicious similarities in the plot (Though it's Sci-Fi so I doubt FS is the first).

Buy it so they make #3 and I get closure.

*Assuming you do the quick fix to get it to actually run*

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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
This game was basically my childhood, can't really describe how much I love it. Story is deep, meaningful, and full of mysteries. Combat is wonderful. They rarely make games as good as these anymore.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
172.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Why I recommend this game

This game is what made me the gamer I am today. I bought it back when it first came out, I bought it on Good Old Games and now I've bought it on Steam. Why? I'll tell you why - I believe it's the greatest game ever made.

Why this game is awesome and deserves your attention;
  • The original graphics were fantastic back at release in 1999.
  • You won't be using the original graphics when playing the game.
  • The story was - and still is - amazing. Far better than the usual tripe.
  • There's an excellent balance struck between you being an incredible pilot who saves thousands of lives, and you just being a dude in a one-person fighter who can't single-handedly save the day.
  • You play against both rebel humans, and a dark & insidious alien race.
  • Your Shivan opponents don't have Star Trek-style translators. There's no communicating with them or understanding their objectives. They don't fight for territory and they don't act like humans on a different team. They're aliens - and both their ships and their tactics demonstrate that.
  • All too often, the strength of your enemies in games is inconsistent. They march into the beginning of the game with a roar, and then die with a whimper at the end. Or else you're handed a gimmicky win. This doesn't happen here - both your victories and your loses feel justified and fair.
  • You play a variety of roles. You scout hostile territory, battle enemy fighters, protect large capital ships from enemy bombers, destroy large capital ships as a bomber, neutralize the main weapons of enemy destroyers to give your side a fighting chance, protect innocent civillians in transport vessels, hunt down a traitor and more. Look, it's hard to give a comprehensive list while avoiding spoilers - y'know?
  • There's a huge variety of ships, primary weapons (lasers) and secondary weapons (typically missiles).
  • The community at hard-light.net are constantly creating new content by developing their own missions and campaigns - which you can do yourself - as well as enhancing the game engine, working on new models and textures, improving AI... and it's all yours for free!
  • The community at hard-light.net provide technical support for Freespace 2 Open.

Advice to those who buy it

Y'know what's better than playing a game 15 years old? Playing one with modern graphics!

The community at hard-light.net are regularly churning out improvements which make the game prettier, improve the AI, and expand the content available by creating their own missions and campaigns which you can play FOR FREE. New models, new textures, game engine enhancements, etc.

Read this guide: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=271287997

I was going to create one myself, but there's no point re-inventing the wheel.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
This game is awesome, use the free space open source code project to get it working, and then play one of if not the best space combat game ever. Be prepared to be blown away. (Recommend playing folk metal especially during nebula scenes)
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
Before attempting to play, you MUST double-click the .reg file in the "Freespace2/Registry" folder for this to work.

I played FS 1 and 2 when they came out in the late 90s. I was very happy to see them on Steam. So I got my CH figther stick out and started playing. FS1 was awesome but FS2 GREATLY improved the graphic (despite being released a year apart).

I forgot how great both these games are. A lot of keys to remember but not too many to be tedious. Many missions were nailbiters and kept me interested. Again, I forgot how easily they both can suck you in to its universes. FS2 was better because it is graphically much more appealling.

I bought both on sale, however, they are both worth the standard $10 bucks Steam is charging. No buyer's remorse from this customer.

Both can be played with FSOpen mods from www.hard-light.net (with updated graphics etc.). I chose to play the originals so that Steam could log my time played. If you want an involve fighter space sim, this is the series that you want. For now, I'm going back to FS 1 & 3 with the hard-light mods :)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
★★★☆☆

FreeSpace 2 is a 3D space craft action simulator. Decades after the war that lost both race's homeworlds, the new Galactic Theran-Vasudan Alliance is rebuilding its forces, up until the the discovery of an extremely ancient Jump Node, and the return of the Shivans.

Pros: There is little to say besides it is everything you liked about Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War. The engine was improved, both in terms of resolution, interface and control, and those improvement match in terms of in-game technological advancement of shield, firepower, and options. The story, once again told to an anonymous pilot recruit through mission briefings and in-game events, picks up some time after the previous game and digs deeper into the lore and origins of the mysterious Shivans, and includes multiple winks to missions from the first game. Control are just as pitch-perfect as they used to be, assuming you play in keyboard-only mode (early 90s style: no mouse).

Cons: Same flaws as the previous game: no exploration, little branching paths, ugly aged graphics (even with the better resolution). "More of the same" is accurate, as there is little innovation over the gameplay or game itself when compared to its predecessor. The game wasn't correctly ported to Steam and requires a manual intervention before working (luckily, it's an easy process well documented in forums).

Verdict: By today's standard, this game could have been an expansion pack rather than a sequel. If you didn't like Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War, there is no reason to even consider this one. But if you did like the previous one, you'll like FreeSpace 2 just as much!
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 15
As other reviews have mentioned - this copy of the game is a crappy one. At minimum you need to set up a registry fix (which on the top of the store page, though it might've not been there then), however you'll most likely end up modding your game with FreeSpace Open which, thankfully, has a really easy to use installer. After installation you can rename fs2_open_<version>.exe to FS2.exe to play the game (I only realised that after playing it for a while, so Steam didn't even track my game time :( ). You can also use FS2 Open to play the original campaign using the second game's engine, and as far as I saw, you don't even need to own the first game for that (not sure how that works out for them legally).

As far as the game goes - it's a classic space combat sim that I still consider being the best in it's genre. Other games (read - X series, Evochron Mercenary, SpaceForce and whatnot) are great and all, but they're more about the economics aspect, while games that do try to be like Freespace (most recent one being Strike Suit Zero/Infinity) don't really come close to the way this game handles, although I'm still not sure how turning off your engines can cause you to go to full stop in space. With FreeSpace2 open the game's graphics aren't all that shabby either.

As far as the gameplay goes, there's nothing more to this game than flying in space, infiltrating behind enemy lines, escorting stuff and shooting stuff. In space. It's harder than you might think, as there is no right side up. If you don't think killing stuff in space is exciting, then this game might not be for you. There is multiplayer, but it's a bit tricky to set up since you need to use, you guessed it, FS2 Open to make it work, as the original implementation is kinda ancient and doesn't really work well. There is also a modding community that makes campaigns that try to extend both this universe and various other sci-fi universes. Also, this game did Reapers before Mass Effect ever did.

So do I recommend it? The game - yes, definitely. The steam release - not so much. Go get it on GoG instead as it seems to be the better version of the game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
great old space blasting game,like star wars x wing.it doesn't start from the steam library.you need to go into your harddrive where you keep your steam program and click on the steam library file.then click on steam apps file.then click on the common file.look for the freespace 2 file and click on that.look for fs2 click on that and freespace 2 should run.you may have to setup your graphics card and sound before the game starts.
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776 of 891 people (87%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Basically the last and best space sim. Since the steam edition will most likely throw errors at your face for trying to play an almost decade and a half old game on a modern system, Head over to hard-light.net to get Freespace open with the mediavp's and start enjoying this game in all its glory.

It will:
1. Allow you to actually play the game
2. Play it on any resolution
3. Massively improve the visuals.

The people at hard-light.net are also always available for techsupport and will help you with any technical problems you may run into.
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225 of 280 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Freespace 2 was the definitive in-cockpit ship-to-ship space combat simulator of the transitionary period between the 90's and 2000's. If you have any interest in this genre, and you haven't played this game yet, you're missing out on the masterstroke that paved the way for games like Freelancer and EVE Online.

If you're having technical issues be sure to check out the Freespace Open project, which attempts to fix some of the bugs and update the graphics and lighting to a level contemporary players may be more comfortable with. For me personally, as-downloaded, my installation of Freespace 2 refused to run properly, but after installing FSO, it executes effortlessly.

In the space of a few minutes, you'll find yourself weaving between capital ships, trying to dodge flak, focus-fire on enemy capital weaponry to disarm them, and dog-fighting with customizable ships and loadouts. All the while, a grand narrative is unfolding with plenty of little twists and flavor to keep your interest.

Best of luck, pilots.
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57 of 62 people (92%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2014
Doesn't work out of the box (shame on you, Steam, for allowing this to happen) but is easy enough to fix with the excellent Freespace Open Installer (http://www.fsoinstaller.com/). Do yourself a few favors:

1) Buy the game.
2) Install FSO.
3) Dust off your old joystick.
4) Enjoy playing this superb space combat simulator.

'Nuff said!
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99 of 132 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Having owned the original retail version of this game for several years, playing countless hours, I can thouroughly recommend it. It is the game that defined the genre and set the standard for all games of it's type for the future.
You play the role of a Terran (human) fighter pilot fighting against a seperatist Terran faction when the doom bringing alien race, defeated in the first game (which was equally good) known as the Shivans appear and threaten the Terrans and Vasudans (old enemy turned allies).
The gameplay is dynamic and the missions diverse in objective, from dogfighting avast array of fighters, to bombing capital ships or going undercover on special missions. The graphics are more than decent for a game of it's era and the physics are superb.
I would recomend using a mouse/keyboard for gameplay rather than a joystick or gamepad, because space goes in all directions and relying on a joystick can get confusing sometimes.
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231 of 339 people (68%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
HIT YOUR BURNERS PILOT DIVE DIVE DIVE
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44 of 47 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2014
Before my review. The game didn't run at first and gave the message: ""Freespace2/Fred2 cannot be run from a drive root directory!". After looking around and saw some crazy solutions finally came to this very simple steps (no need for you to edit anything just click 3 times):

A) Go to the directory that the game was installed in
B) Go to the 'data' folder
C) DOUBLE click on the file 'FS2.reg'
D) Click 'Yes' When asked if you want 'Registry Editor' to make a system change
E) Click 'Yes' When Registry Editor asks if you are sure you want that change
F) Click 'OK' when Reg Edit says it's done
G) Run the game and enjoy

OK with that out of the way, one more point: you need a mouse (or preferred: a stick game controller). I was using the mouse tab from the laptop and then tried to navigate with the keystrokes and it is just too hard that way. You need to aim.

This is a 10+ year old game and I think the last great space simulation. Great game. You play a pilot and get promoted along the way until you are controlling your aircraft and giving instructions to wingman. Here are some highlights:

+ A campaign well thought out. After a few missions you get involved in it. Feels like an epic campaign.
+ Even through you are controlling your aircraft and giving missions to a few wingmen, you feel you are part of large battles. Lots of aircraft flying around.
+ Great tutorials, which are made nicely as training missions needed to be completed to get promotions. Also tutorials are made throughout the campaign. So you start with a few tutorials and latter on you do some more advanced ones.
+ The game is easy to get into. Part of it is the tutorials and the level design very well done.
+ Aircraft have multiple kinds of weapons, shields, you can call another aircraft to resupply you.
+ High production values

Minus points:
- Graphics feel a bit outdated.
- Need mouse or better stick controller.
- There will never be a Fresspace 3 :(
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30 of 37 people (81%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
This game is one of the games that I grew up playing. After several years of hoping this game would appear on Steam (My physical copy is getting old), it finally made it and I got it and the first game in a heartbeat. The game is the best space-flight combat simulator that I have ever played. Rich with its own lore and story, Freespace 2 has much to offer. Two different storylines (The main campaign and the Hammer of Light) are available right off the bat to get you started. The main campaign gives you an in-depth tutorial on how to play (I play with the keyboard because I think it is easier) and it has joystick combatability.

Another nice thing about this game is the amount of support it has from its fanbase. Freespace Open is a mod that updates the graphics to a more modern equivalent and it opens you up to different mods that include Battlestar Galactica, Wing Commander, and there's even a Star Wars mod.

In conclusion, I must recommend this game to everyone who sees it. There were some problems with the launch of this game on Steam, but if you are using Freespace Open and follow one of the guides, you will no problem getting this game correctly instaled.

9.5/10
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112 of 179 people (63%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2014
"Freespace2/Fred2 cannot be run from a root drive directory"
Yet another game that wont run being sold by Steam.
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26 of 32 people (81%) found this review helpful
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2014
Easy fix for those getting the root directory error when trying to run it:

1) Download and run this: http://www.fsoinstaller.com/files/installer/FreeSpaceOpenInstaller.jar

2) Choose the game directory (e.g. "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Freespace 2")

3) Mods are optional, although I would recommend "FreeSpace Open 3.7.2 RC3 Windows Standard".

4) After installation, launch the game.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
21.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
What can I say, they should charge double this. After you download fs open and all the nice mods - change the name of the new launcher to fs2 in your steam folder, all is fixed. Takes some time to understand, but not long and 100% worth it. Considering you can play the first freespace on the FS2 engine - have it in widescreen and updated textures. One of my top five favorite games on steam even if it takes a bit to get it to working condition.
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27 of 35 people (77%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2014
Hey guy's if you can't get the game to run, goto this link
http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=78710.0
http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=85435.0

Follow the instructions! if you do so you will be able to play and it will only take 3-5 minutes to set up make sure you put all the files in your Freespace2 folder that can be found in steamapps , common
ex. C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Freespace 2
if you don't want to wait for the steam fix that might never come.
Makes sure to follow the instructions if have any issues add me to steam i would be happy to help.
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25 of 32 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2014
Freespace 2 is, fifteen years later, still the finest first person combat-focused sim around. It's combination of exceptional storytelling, insanely satisfying combat and the best control scheme and H.U.D. around still make it the pinnacle of the genre. Whether you're escorting a convoy, flying undercover or destroying a Shivan cruiser, you're in for an amazing thrill-ride. You can see my own play through of the game right here to get an idea of what's in store.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6K1_LepsaN-XOh-0ZHC27hY2YXInKmn5

This isn't simply a game you're purchasing, however, it's also a platform for more content. Thanks to the Source Code Project, you'll not only have access to updated graphics, but new missions, campaigns, and mods that extend the Freespace universe and help create new universes as well. This engine also powers the total conversions for the Wing Commander-based Saga and Battlestar Galactica-based Diaspora games as well.

So with Freespace 2, you're not just buying one game, you're purchasing a portal into years of fan-based work and content that goes well beyond the amazing base game. And heck, even if you never used the SCP, you'd still have one of the finest space games around. Do yourself a favor and buy this, whether you fly with a joystick or a mouse, you won't be disappointed.
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